As a young aspiring entrepreneur or one who has gained experience, but has failed and now has no direction, this advice is for you….
I have failed abysmally in a few of my ‘visionary ventures’ but I was not privileged enough to have a mentor guide me and help me avoid the inevitable pitfalls. I have so much experience because I had to physically try each and every vision I had in a variation of industries, until I found my niche.
Was it easy? Absolutely not and I wish I had a mentor in my early days.
Do I have regrets? Absolutely no, because I know more than most, I have worked in a variation of industry sectors, where I forced myself to swim in the deep end until I mastered the industry.
Was it worth it? Absolutely yes and I would not change it for the world today!
Would I value a mentor today? Totally yes, however I now am privileged at this age and stage of my life to have one of the best mentors in the world, where I can now reach out to those seeking true mentorship, to enable them to find their true passion, purpose and calling and love what they do so it does not feel like work, hence success is a natural progression.
Am I faultless now? Absolutely not, I still make mistakes but I try to be as logical as I can however I must share with you that I have had a few invaluable friends who have stood by my side through times of hardship and I will forever be grateful for them.
Now for my real message…
When you are on the brink of your start-up where you perceive that you have covered all the basis and your funds you are about to invest will see you through the next 1-3years. The questions are:
a) How have you determined that your plan is faultless?
b) Have you secured a few months or years of ‘hands-on’ training and experience?
c) Have you invested in yourself to ensure you are ready for this journey?
Or have you assumed that you don’t need this enlightenment and all will be well?
Most entrepreneurs who do not have business experience, or even those who do to some degree, get stuck, however they would prefer throwing more good money after bad without contemplating the option of investing in themselves and here is a typical example.
1) Say your start-up budget is $150,000 and you already reviewed the option of mentorship for a few months that would cost you $10,000 or a bit more, but you opted to simply take the plunge and invest, without truly evaluating the real risks.
Then the questions are :
a) Why would you not invest $10,000, have $140,000, after your training find out that the venture was not going to work anyhow, so you can hang on a bit until you are ready and confident to start? Means you can now invest your balance and use it for your venture when you are ready.
b) Why is it so difficult, especially in the UAE for entrepreneurs to value entrepreneur training that is in line with global trends and willingly accept the cost as an investment, not as ‘oh they are overcharging? Why should I pay all this money just for 1 week, or 2 days or 2 months?’
Do you have any idea how much investment a true entrepreneur invests in themselves? Most of it is intangible because we are not ‘shops on the corners, buying wares, trading money for tangible goods’ – THAT IS THE REAL REASON WHY and also the reason why Service Fees levied by experienced Consultants are not taken seriously, or are always open for huge negotiation.
Nobody can equate learning from someone ‘who has been there’ versus learning academics from a book, as we spend 12 yrs of our lives putting ourselves through school, then we shelve those books to gather dust and never to be read again. Then we go to university and we accumulate more books and after our tenure, they too gather dust and serve no purpose. Then we attempt advanced courses which is totally academically aligned, also serving no real purpose because finally, when we hit the corporate or entrepreneurial environment we are blown away as the pressure is way too much because we have become theoretical beings, not practical working beings.
So a mentor adds huge value to place you in practical situations, to create your very own unique blue print that you can put into practice immediately. A mentor takes you on an accelerated path to open your mind, think totally out of the box (in fact there is no box!) and make you truly accountable for your actions, where the positive results is inevitable.
Mentorship is inspirational, it is not comparative to learning in an academic environment and you become this globally aligned entrepreneur that has the ability to conquer many obstacles as you have become equipped with the tools of today, the techniques that has shifted the worlds paradigm since the 2008 end global financial downturn. People were forced to make something out of their talents, gifts, passions, knowledge and experience but when you are too complacent because the books make it look simple, then you are in for a tough lonely ride.